Jharkhand issued notice on child labour

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 06, 2011 17:30 hrs

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday has issued a notice to the Jharkhand chief secretary over a media report on alleged child labour in the state's illegal coal mines, the commission said.

'The commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging that a large number of children below 14 years of age are working in illegal coal mines built unscientifically in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. These mines are manned mostly by children,' a commission statement said.

The report alleges that the workers in these mines come from Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Assam. The kin of those who die in accidents in these mines never get any compensation as deaths are never recorded, the NHRC added.

There are also no facilities for drinking water and health in the area and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has also not been extended in Hazaribagh district, it said.

The commission pointed out that the government report must include the number of coal mines - legal or illegal - functioning in the state, the steps taken to stop these illegal mines, and the safeguards offered to mine workers.

'The report must also say what steps has the government taken to prevent child labour in the coal mines and whether there are enough schools in Hazaribagh district to implement the Right to Education Act,' a commission official said.

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